Bone and Joint Health
Exercising is considered an effective means of preserving bone mineral density as part of a comprehensive bone health regimen. In recent years, some medical experts have begun to recommend a more passive strategy to accomplish this same objective. Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a practice in which you lie down, sit or stand on a vibrating platform that sends waves of energy throughout your body. In some instances, specific forms of exercise including squats are integrated into the vibrating experience. In either case, this active or passive activity causes muscles to contract in a manner that is similar to a physical workout. Proponents of whole-body vibration often claim that the physiological response to WBV provides as good or greater health benefits than more traditional forms of physical exertion in less time.
Tags: Osteoporosis, Women's Health
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | 12 Comments & Updates
The next time you put together your grocery list, remind yourself that the foods you include and omit can have a profound affect on your well being. Here are several, recent examples of how you can use food to improve you and your family’s health. If you’re obese and on a hypocaloric diet, make sure to consume optimal levels of dietary calcium (1,600 mg/day) and protein (30% of calories/day). A study appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that higher protein diets rich in dairy products may reduce the risk of dieting-induced bone loss in overweight women. The importance of dietary protein was further bolstered in the October 12th edition of the journal PLoS One. In that research, lowering protein intake by as little as 5% was found to increase overall caloric intake by 12% due to increased appetite.
Tags: Cholesterol, Metabolic Syndrome, Wine
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition | 2 Comments & Updates
Throughout history there have been many wise and witty sayings about growing older. Here are a few of my favorites: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain; “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” Benjamin Franklin; “The minute a man ceases to grow, no matter what his years, that minute he begins to be old.” William James. Some of the changes that occur with advancing age cannot be avoided entirely. But I believe there’s such a thing as “quality of aging” as well as “quality of life”. What’s more, we can all affect the manner and pace by which our bodies reflect our biological years. Read more »
Tags: Arthritis, Heart Health, Tai Chi, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Memory | 21 Comments & Updates
The last thing anyone wants to do when in pain is exercise. Certain injuries require allowing the body time to recover. However, mental and physical discomfort shouldn’t always be used as an excuse to slow down. In fact, many times, the desire for bed rest may actually be counterproductive. This certainly appears to be the case with some very common, inflammatory conditions that affect both the body and the mind.
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Tags: Arthritis, Depression, Fibromyalgia
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | 11 Comments & Updates
This past weekend I was catching up with my parents. They mentioned that they had attended a women’s health seminar hosted by a local physician. One of the points made by this particular speaker was that calcium supplements should never be taken with coffee. She went on to explain that coffee impairs the absorption of this essential mineral and could be counterproductive for anyone attempting to support bone mineral density. Since calcium supplements and coffee are prevalently used these days, I decided to take a look at what the medical literature has to say about this timely topic.
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Tags: Calcium, Coffee, Osteoporosis
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 7 Comments & Updates
I’m a firm believer in the concept that holistic medicine can benefit virtually every aspect of one’s life. This may sound like a rather grandiose claim. However I know that it’s not. Today’s column highlights a recent illustration of how changing your diet and lifestyle can have “far reaching consequences” in the best sense of the phrase. What’s more, the benefits often extend far beyond those achieved by the individuals making the changes in the first place.
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Tags: Arthritis, Astaxanthin, Fish Oil
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements | 22 Comments & Updates
I have a confession to make. Even after many years of using and working with natural medicine, I still have an underlying fear of chiropractors. Not the men and women who make up the profession. But the actual process of getting an adjustment. I’ve just never gotten used to the cracking and popping sounds brought about by manual adjustments. However my concerns are often at odds with some of the positive evidence that exists about this widely utilized holistic technique. The most recent figures published by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine estimate that upwards of $4 billion a year is spent on “chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation” in the US alone. It appears that many health conscious consumers do not share my reservations about visiting their friendly, neighborhood chiropractor.
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Tags: asthma, Headache, Pain
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health | 3 Comments & Updates
Many of us are familiar with static stretching from our elementary, middle school and high school years. In my own experience, I can vividly recall starting off each physical eduction (P.E.) period engaging in a series of stretches that we’d have to hold in place for about 30 seconds or so. The idea behind this ritual was that the stretching and holding helped to lengthen and warm-up the isolated muscles being targeted. The expected result was an improvement in physical performance and a reduction in the risk of injury. However, a series of recent scientific studies did not bear out these expectations. That’s why my Healthy Monday tip of the week is re-evaluate how you stretch and warm up before your work-out.
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Tags: Gymnastics, Running, Soccer
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | 7 Comments & Updates
Life expectancy is slowly but surely rising in the US and many industrialized countries. This is a welcome trend that we all hope will continue. But with advancing age, so too comes an elevated risk of degenerative and progressive health conditions including arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis and more. So while scientists strive to find new ways of keeping us here longer, we must do our part to figure out how to improve the quality of this additional time.
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Tags: Arthritis, B Vitamins, Vitamin D
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 2 Comments & Updates
Natural medicine tends to excel in managing chronic health conditions. On the other hand, acute circumstances such as a broken bone, a ruptured appendix or a heart attack are clearly better suited to conventional care. But there’s a third category of treatment which falls between the two seemingly distinct philosophies. There are certain therapeutic practices that are natural but not the exclusive domain of alternative and complementary practitioners. For instance, it’s not unusual for all types of physicians to recommend limited sugar consumption and regular aerobic exercise. The difference that I find is in how such recommendations are made. Are they mentioned in passing or suggested as a first-line intervention to improve and/or protect against serious health conditions?
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Tags: Diet and Weight Loss, Fructose, Sleep
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Exercise, Mental Health | 3 Comments & Updates
One of the chief differences between conventional and holistic medicine is how a patient is viewed in relation to their disease. Allopathic physicians tend to focus on the symptoms reported to them. So if you go in complaining of heartburn, you’re likely to walk out with a prescription for a medication that addresses GERD-like symptoms. Naturopathic physicians will often take a broader view of the same symptomatology. They might ask questions about your diet, stress levels or supplement regimen. Anything that could possibly affect your body and mind are potential fodder for holistic healers. When the latter is properly applied, it’s a surprisingly effective and thorough way to reestablish wellness.
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Tags: Cherries, Melatonin, Sleep
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise | 10 Comments & Updates
A reader recently asked me whether adding cow’s milk to coffee negates any of its health benefits. My investigation into the topic lead me down a few different roads. However, all of the paths ultimately ended at the same destination – how to make a healthier “cup of Joe”. The solution is simpler and tastier than you might think. Read more »
Tags: Cancer, Coffee, Milk, Osteoporosis
Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Food and Drink | 19 Comments & Updates
There are few things in life that are more difficult than being in constant pain or seeing someone you love in the same predicament. Chronic pain related conditions are notoriously difficult to manage in the long term without accompanying side effects from the treatments themselves. But what can one do? You either live with the pain and forego conventional therapies or you take the best pharmacological and surgical advice your doctors have to offer. The latter is what most people settle on and it’s completely understandable. However, there are also natural pain relieving options available. My Healthy Monday tip is that patients and physicians consider adding alternative and complementary techniques to their list of viable interventions.
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Tags: Anxiety, Arthritis, Pain, Sleep
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Mental Health | 33 Comments & Updates